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Montana State Parks AmeriCorps

Promoting healthy, active, and environmentally aware communities through our state park system. #MTSPAmericorps #ServeMT

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Last week, we said goodbye to the first three members who successfully completed their 4 month terms of service. These three amazing individuals improved 27 acres of state park land, hosted 66 interpretive and educational events that were attended by 2,200 individuals, managed 55 volunteers, and conducted 35 community outreach events that resulted in 4 new partnerships. Words cannot encompass our thanks and amazement at what can be accomplished in a short 675 hours. We will miss your unique humor, quiet insights, and beautiful smiles and we wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors!

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There are many ways to combat weeds, and one that is gaining traction in Montana due to the recent successes of @montanabiocontrol is the use of Biological Controls. Biological control introduces natural predators (insects) to the noxious invasive species throughout Montana. Montana State Parks AmeriCorps has been working to utilize this third method of combating weeds, in conjunction with chemical (spraying) and manual (weed pulls) efforts.

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The smokey skies remind us of the summer of 2015. Even in the haze, AmeriCorps Members are out in our state parks getting things done! Since that summer, our members have mapped over 2000 acres of weeds, recording: types present, locations, and densities. Inventorying our lands is a crucial step in being able to address the problem! at Wild Horse Island State Park

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Montana State Parks AmeriCorps members make friends where ever they go! I wish I could say this was a wildlife encounter, but Bert(ha?) the Roughed Grouse was far to comfortable around us! at Bannack State Park

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Meet the 2017 Montana State Parks Crew!! at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

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Another part of Montana State Parks AmeriCorps busy summer was tabling with junior ranger materials, furs, and skulls at the Butte Folk Festival. Approximately 200 people stopped by to learn about #MontanaFWP (Fish, Wildlife, and Parks). Our visitors ranged from kids barely reaching to the table to adults intrigued by the display. at Butte, Montana

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At Montana State Parks AmeriCorps takes the war on weeds seriously! First, comes education on the impact of the weeds. Second comes preventing the spread of weeds (hence the boot brush below the sign). Our members installed two of these innovative interpretive stations at #lewisandclarkcaverns during our All Member Gathering. at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

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Back in May, shortly after receiving their uniforms, our new members were out in the parks conducting a direct service project. Our members planted over 25 cottonwood trees to help restore Lake Elmo State Park's shores. Since placing a member at the Park, we have been actively involved in the park management to remove invasive russian olive trees. Since nature abhors a vacuum, we go a planting cottonwoods! at Lake Elmo State Park

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Whoa is summer flying by! Back in May our program welcomed aboard four new members, all of whom are serving in Eastern Montana. We took the opportunity to take it on the road and in doing so started forging new partnerships. . Carolyn of the @montanaaudubon took the time out of her busy schedule to teach us about the Yellowstone and Eastern Montana river ecosystems. Not only that, but we received top notch information on presenting environmental education programs. Thanks Carolyn! at Montana Audubon Center

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While doing a little spring cleaning, we came across this gem. I don't have a clue why we have these, or even how far we have to throw this Thursday back too... Here is a shout out to our fellow conservation program under the big sky, @mtcorps Can anyone date this patch? . . . #ServeMT #americorps #AmeriCorpsWorks #GettingThingsDone #mtspamericorps #MTExploreMore #tbt #throwbackthursday

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Every year, MSPA members coordinate with local communities and volunteer groups to improve our State Parks. In honor of Arbor Day, our 2016 member coordinated with University of Montana to have volunteers to plant 200 Western Larches around Milltown State Park in burn pile scars. Larches were original to the confluence area, but haven't been seen there in over a hundred years. Here's to bringing back their golden fall glow to the Confluence!! #MTSPAmericorps #mtstateparks #milltownstatepark #arborday #americorps #AmeriCorpsWorks #ServeMT #ExploreMT #bigskycountry #getoutside #volunteer #spring #volunteer #nationalvolunteerweek #nvw at Milltown State Park

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Congratulations #MTStateParks Certified Interpretive Guide Class of '17!! Twelve AmeriCorps members and three Staff are ready to hit the field and change lives through the interpretation of Montana's cultural and natural resources and have fun doing it! . . . #mtspamericorps #MTStateParks #MTExploreMore #AmeriCorps #ServeMT at Lubrecht Experimental Forest

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Happy #earthday everyone! #lewisandclarkcaverns AmeriCorps member Brian organized an amazing an Earth Day event that over 70 volunteers attended! Than you to #REI and to all the cyclists who made this event a success! . . . #MTSPAmeriCorps #MTStateParks #MTExploreMore #AmeriCorpsWorks #AmeriCorps #ServeMT #GettingThingsDone at Lewis and Clark Caverns

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For the last four days, our AmeriCorps members went through the National Association of Interpretors' Certified Interpretive Guide Training. They learned about the history and principles of interpretation, as well as got plenty of practice. Today culminated in everyone presenting excellent 10 min programs. We even had a demonstration of a Buffalo Runner from #firstpeoplesbuffalojump Thanks Charles!! . . . #AmeriCorps #ServeMT #mtspamericorps #mtstateparks #MTExploreMore #GettingThingsDone at Lubrecht Experimental Forest

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The last, but not least goal of the Montana State Parks AmeriCorps programs is to improve the community outreach in our State Parks. It is through community partners that AmeriCorps members raise awareness of our State Parks in our communities and state wide. Here is one of our former members "Giving a Hoot!" with Woodsy the Owl. . . . #MTSPAmeriCorps #ServeMT #AmeriCorps #MTStateParks #MTExploreMore #AmeriCorpsMembers #GettingThingsDone #AmeriCorpsWorks #environmentalstewardship #woodsyowl

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Montana State Parks AmeriCorps third program goal is to increase volunteer engagement in our State Parks. Since 2012, our AmeriCorps members have engaged over 2,500 volunteers in opportunities to be stewards of our Parks!! At #pictographcavestatepark our members have worked to engage the community of #billingsmt including a National Lands Day project that collaborated with local schools. . . . #MTSPAmeriCorps #ServeMT #AmeriCorps #MTStateParks #MTExploreMore #AmeriCorpsMembers #GettingThingsDone #AmeriCorpsWorks #environmentalstewardship #volunteering at Pictograph Cave State Park

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The second goal of the Montana State Parks AmeriCorps program is to enrich educational and interpretive opportunities in Montana's State Parks. Since 2012, over 50,000 participants have attended various programs offered by our AmeriCorps members!! . . . #MTSPAmeriCorps #ServeMT #AmeriCorps #MTStateParks #MTExploreMore #AmeriCorpsMembers #GettingThingsDone #AmeriCorpsWorks #environmentalstewardship #rangerspointingatthings at Lone Pine State Park

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The mission of Montana State Parks AmeriCorps is to promote healthy, active, and environmentally aware communities by enhancing park land, enriching educational opportunities, building volunteer capacity, and improving community outreach in Montana's State Parks. Our members have improved over 2000 acres since 2012, including removing hundreds of pounds of barb wire from the #wildhorseisland unit of #flatheadlake State Park. . Follow us this week to see more of our members in action! . . . #mtspamericorps #ServeMT #AmeriCorps #MTStateParks #MTExploreMore #AmeriCorpsWorks #AmeriCorpsMembers #GettingThingsDone #environmentalstewardship #earthweek #earthweek2017 #earthday at Wild Horse Island

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